Junior 1st Prize Winning Story
“Deathly Fame” by Yala Ahmed, BeaconHouse School System NNP6, Karachi, Pakistan, is the First Prize winning story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2018.
“Come on honey! Smile at the camera”
My mom shouted. I rolled my eyes and kept my focus on the food in front of me
“Mom please let me have my dinner in peace” I pleaded jabbing my fork deep in my broccoli.
My mom frowned placing the camera gently on the table as she sighed.
“Xavier now I would have to edit it!” mom whinnied like a two year old. I surely was not hoping for her to say this, a decent sorry was expected.
My anger turned into my frustration I threw the fork on the plate and stood up with my hands curled in fists, I slammed the door behind and tugging my hair wildly.
Calm down. It was not the first time!
I told my mind but my nerves didn’t seem to calm down, these words have been repeated so often that now my brain laughs at how crazy I am. It all started when I was three years old, mom loved my big bright hazel eyes she thought that they were beautiful and my face had an adorable look on it. So one day, we went to the beach she filmed me as I played with the soft waves. I still remember my feet caressing to the sand beneath. Indeed it was a heartwarming scene, mom felt the same and she uploaded my video on YouTube. Our first video reached 1 million views and that encouraged my mother to keep moving on, since then she started filming every part of my life, at first I enjoyed being the popular Xavier, liked by all, loved by everyone but soon things changed dad left his job while they made money from me.
Each and every movement of my life has seen by the world I know creepy…..right? My days grew darker as they never started with a normal “good morning” instead with “hey everyone! So Xavier is still asleep lets go wake him up”, till preschool mom was allowed to film me inside the school but after that she could not, she would’ve even done that, to the world it appeared as if my life was perfect yet the flaws were only known to me.
My efforts are ruthless I have tried explaining my parents about my hatred towards the camera; it’s like a demon that watches me and haunts me like my shadow.
I was never loved, a marketing product used by my very own parents. These words are killing me, I sighed and lied down in my bed words of despair were my nightmares but I slept through it, with that I closed my eyes, drowning in deep darkness.
“Hey everyone! It’s Amelia, it’s um…..seven in the morning. Let’s wake up Xavier!” my ears registered to the unwanted voice of my mom. I let out a groan already aware of the camera in her hands.
She loves this more than me
I pull the covers over my face and grunted
“Darling wake up” mom whisper shouted.
Guess I’ll have to play along
I turned around but a sharp pain ran through my head I whined from its intensity
“Good…morning….” I whispered but surprisingly my voice was hoarse.
“Morning love!” mom shouted lookingat me through the camera.
I nodded my head at her and tried sitting up straight, but my head was pounding. I let out a groan and looked at mom.
“Mom..my..head hurts” I told her as the pain increased. Mom looked at me with a worried expression but that camera didn’t leave her hands.
“Xavier… you ok?” she asked but this time my vision blurred as complete darkness over ruled my eyes, the last I knew was falling against my bed.
I turned my head and squinted my eyes letting them adjust to the day light. I yanked my hands but a sudden pain went through my veins. Inhaling a sharp breath I looked at my surroundings. White walls, plain tiles, that same awful smell,
I am in a hospital!!
My eyes grew wide as I gazed at the drip attached to my hands and two wires stucked to the either side of my forehead. Events of the morning came rushing back but it was no longer before another sharp pain jolted through my head as I expected my brain to explode.
The machine beside me beeped louder, causing the room door to open, a nurse came running in followed by a doctor, he examined me and gave orders to the nurse, while I looked at them with confusion. My eyes snapped to the opposite direction where I saw mom entering with a camera in her hands and a fake expression plastered over her face.
“So update guys Xavier is feeling worse….. Doctors are working on him…I am so worried!!” my mom said.
I closed my eyes as I felt my nerves exploding by just looking at the devils eye, the camera, with only one thought in my mind,
“Film my funeral as well and let the world see a marketing product become a part of the earth”